Charlestin Takes Reigns of Men’s Soccer Team
After the resignation of former BCU Men’s Head Soccer Coach, Cory Christensen, the team was left without a head coach midway through the season. Finding a replacement is a difficult task, so the school came up with a creative solution, to have Clark Charlestin assume the responsibilities of head coach for both the women’s team and the men’s team.
Charlestin accepted the head coaching job for the women’s team earlier this year in February. He coached the team in its first NAIA national tournament appearance in the spring.
Charlestin already had some experience at BCU prior to taking the head coaching job in the spring. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons he served as an assistant coach on the men’s team. After that he moved on to take jobs at Waldorf University and the University of Cumberlands before eventually coming back to The Cliff.
One of the reasons this transition made since was because of Clark’s past experience with the men’s team.
“This happened since I still had a connection and relationship with the boys that were already on the men’s team” Charlestin says. “It looked like a possible transition to happen at that time in the season.”
Players on the men’s team weren’t sure what would happen when they were left without a coach. When the announcement was made that Clark would be taking over the team was happy with the choice according to senior defender, Osvaldo Guerrero.
“When we found out that it was him who was going to take over and come in, it was pretty exciting because most of the guys on the team knew what he was about and his way of playing and doing things,” Guerrero says.
Coaching one team at the collegiate level is a full-time job, so adding another to Clark’s responsibilities is a testament to his coaching and time management skills. There are several keys that Clark mentioned which have made it possible. Having experienced, hard working Graduate Assistants is one of the things that has helped.
“First of all I think I have a great support staff that makes things easy for me,” Charlestin says referencing GA’s Oscar Cendejas and Tom Nicholls.
When it comes to strategy and coaching, Charlestin stressed that his focus was on preparation.
“I think the work is in the preparation,” Charlestin says. “If you don’t cut short the preparation on both sides I think it is easy to manage.”
Guerrero noticed echoed that idea. The team had noticed a difference in the way they prepared as well.
“He gets us ready. We know what to do before our game, who we are going to play, how we are going to play, why we are going to have to adjust to different teams, and different situations that might happen throughout the game,” Guerrero says.
The schedule for the remainder of the season lines up well so that Charlestin can coach both the women’s and men’s teams as they play in the same places. If the teams split up during tournament time, Charlestin’s first responsibility is with the women’s team, and the GA’s on the mens team will take over. Once the season is up, Charlestin expects thing to go back to normal and will be relieved of his interim head coaching duties for the men’s team.
Photo Credit: Ida Nilson
Coach Clark Charlestin coaches up the men’s team during a break in the action against Dakota Wesleyan on September 22. The Chargers won 3-0.